coach Bruce Boudreau may not get much sleep on Monday night, but at least his team left Carolina with a victory.
Despite losing superstar Alex Ovechkin
to an apparent knee injury in the first period, Nicklas Backstrom
scored twice and Eric Fehr had a goal and an assist as the Caps earned a 3-2 win against the Hurricanes at the RBC Center.
Ovechkin went down following a knee-on-knee collision with Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason
at 12:05 of the opening period. Ovechkin was on the ice for several minutes before receiving help to the locker room. He received a major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct, his second in three games.
It was announced during the third period that Ovechkin was icing his knee and would likely not receive an MRI until Tuesday.
"Any time Alex is hurt, I'm concerned," Boudreau said. "He's stiff right now. I don't know how long he's going to be out, whether he's going to be out at all. The next morning, you find out a lot more."
Ovechkin -- who leads the team in goals (18), points (30) and penalty minutes (44), also drew a major for boarding and a game misconduct 3:38 into the third period last Wednesday when he ran Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta into the boards with his shoulder opposite the benches.
According to Boudreau, though, Ovechkin's hit on Gleason did not warrant an ejection.
"It looked like he leaned with his shoulder to me," Boudreau said. "He tried to hit him, Gleason put a good move to the inside and his leg followed through with him."
''Gleason made a good move and (Ovechkin) caught him with his knee," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "However you want to define the play, it was dangerous for both players.''
Carolina briefly held a 1-0 lead as Joe Corvo beat Jose Theodore (38 saves) just 4:35 into the game. Less than a minute later, Corvo was forced to leave the game and head for the hospital after cutting his leg in a collision with Karl Alzner
''He's going to be OK,'' Maurice said of Corvo. ''The extent of his injury, we won't know until a doctor gets in there and looks at it and finds out exactly how deep it is and what it caught. He was in some pain on the ice, and he's fine now."
Backstrom tied the game with his fifth goal of the season at 6:11 of the first period, when he took a pass from Ovechkin and beat Michael Leighton to make it 1-1. Fehr gave the Caps the lead with 2:40 left in the first on a shot from the left circle.
"I haven't heard much yet, but hopefully he's all right," Fehr said of Ovechkin. "We definitely wanted to get it for him."
Washington stretched its lead to 3-1 with 5:07 left in the second, when Backstrom took a feed from Fehr and caught Leighton out of position for his second tally of the night. Matt Cullen made it 3-2 at 19:44 of the third with Leighton off for an extra attacker.
Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.